Author Archive

Brad Left Jen for Moi

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

bradLeftJenForMe.jpg

Nuff said.

Amazon brings Yellow Pages to the 21st Century

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Amazon brings Yellow Pages to the 21st Century

Amazon today is after launching via it’s A9 search engine, a 21st century version of the Yellow Pages. Yellow page style listings now take a massive leap forward thanks to exhaustive work by Amazon. This new service allows Amazon customers to get local. Looking for a shoe store ? Type in “shoes” and Amazon will show you the showe store nearest to you, complete with picture of the store front and the ability to connect to the store via phone with the click of a button. The new “Block View” feature allows users to see storefronts and virtually walk up and down the streets of currently more than 10 U.S. cities using over 20 million photographs. You can see what stores are adjacent to the current listing, a map of the area to see what parking might be like and see are there any other shoe stores in the area.

“We’re doing something that has never been done before,” said Udi Manber, A9.com’s CEO in a video address on the A9 website this morning. “It’s like taking a virtual stroll around the block,” added Manber. “We believe this is going to expand the user experience significantly.”

Just like other Amazon product listings, user experience is a significant driver of sales. Users are able to read and contribute reviews of the stores as well as their own photos. Amazon customers can also leave notes for themselves on the listings so that they can come back to them later. The businesses too can submit photos and additional information and Amazon has mentioned potential premium services in regards to this. While reviews have only just begun, Amazon’s 44 million active customers will soon populate the A9 listings adding a massive amount of data about these businesses without any additional work from Amazon.

To get all these photos and block layouts A9.com used special trucks equipped with digital cameras, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, and proprietary software and hardware. A9.com drove tens of thousands of miles capturing images and matching them with businesses and the way they look from the street.

While these innovations are nothing new, the integration of all of them into Amazon’s existing service will make significant impact and eclipse the Froogle service offered by Google. This announcement is the second big search news item this week following on from the “Google Video” announcement earlier this week.

More information on A9 Yellow Pages
Amazon Video on Yellow Pages here: mms://wm.amazon.usa.speedera.net/wm.amazon.usa/upload/a9-yellow-pages-video-press-release-sm.wmv

Casualties of War

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Utterly horrific pictures from Iraq.

Check out the rest of thisIraqi blog which isn’t very pro America. He has some insight into Fallujah too. Chemical weapons, tonnes of soil removed, streets washed down by the army…

You stop telling lies about us and we’ll stop telling the truth about you.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2005

I read this quote on the IMDB and found it quite interesting. Today I decided to Google it to see was it mentioned anywhere else and I noted that it was a variation of a quote from Aldai Stevenson, a former Illinois Governor and twice failed democratic presidential candidate.

He was an interesting statesman and had some impressive quotes attributed to him. So this is something new I learned today.

His original quote was “I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” but the quote from the IMDB is when a gay rights activist takes on some homophobe. Fantastic that his quote can be reused and still have the same power.

Google gets into Video

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Google introduced late Monday night a prototype of a service to search American TV programming, a move which was been rumored for a while. This comes after much recent talk of Google hiring someone for dark fibre provisioning. Google Video lets people search over the text of TV shows. The service works by searching the text from the closed captioning of each program as it airs. The service presently searches and catalogs programming from PBS, Fox News, C-SPAN, ABC, and the NBA, among others, making broadcasts searchable the same day. More TV sources will be added in the future.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s vice president of product management, has gone on the record stating that they may in the future integrate advertising into this service but for now are being conservative with the service.

Speaking of the content partnership with Google, Brian Lamb of C-SPAN stated “Our mission is to give viewers complete access to public affairs programming and we are committed to use new technologies to enhance the value of our services. This partnership with Google further demonstrates how new technologies will expand our audience and make it easier to conduct online searches of our content for information most relevant to them.”

The service will probably expand to Google UK and other local Google sites as happened with their shopping service “Froogle”. The service however doesn’t actually allow you to view the full shows or even video from them, something which rivals such as Yahoo and Blinkx allow you to do. Currently Google is in negotiations for content licensing.

Yahoo is already reacting to the Google service by adding a button on their main page to their existing video search service and they will also be offering searching of closed captioning of Bloomberg and BBC programs. Blinkx has recently done a deal with Fox and Sky which has given it access to the massive archives and now allow users to search them online.

The BBC has itself been putting video content online which it licenses to other vendors. There had been talk that eventually the BBC’s entire archive will be digitized and put online. The BBC archive houses some 500 million feet of film and 350,000 hours of video dating from 1934, with more than 200 hours of new content added every week.

More about Google Video here and here.

Dream Well

Monday, January 24th, 2005

Dream of things past and dream of things new. Dream so real that it becomes true.

For Aoife

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

you rock my world,
you make it better,
you make the day brighter,
you’re a hangover cure,
you’re the holy grail,
you’re the first snow,
you’re the excitement when someone is naughty,
you’re a warm hug,
you’re the euphoric feeling just before sleep comes,
you’re more than words.

I am done with great things and big plans

Monday, January 3rd, 2005

“I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of pride.” – William James

I found this on William Gibson’s Blog. Never heard of this guy before. Now I have. A very good new year’s resolution.

Hack yourself.

Anger Management

Friday, December 31st, 2004

“I have a right to my anger, and I don’t want anybody telling me I shouldn’t be, that it’s not nice to be, and that something’s wrong with me because I get angry.” – Maxine Waters, in Brian Lanker, I Dream a World, 1989

The man who couldn’t cry – Johnny Cash

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

http://www.maninblack.net/lyrics/the_man_who_couldnt_cry.htm

The Man Who Couldn’t Cry

Written by Loudon Wainwright III

There once was a man who just couldn’t cry

He hadn’t cried for years and for years

Napalmed babies and the movie love story

For instance could not produce tears

As a child he had cried as all children will

Then at some point his tear ducts ran dry

He grew to be a man, the feces hit the fan

Things got bad, but he couldn’t cry

His dog was run over, his wife up and left him

And after that he got sacked from his job

Lost his arm in the war, was laughed at by a whore

Ah, but sill not a sniffle or sob

His novel was refused, his movie was panned

And his big Broadway show was a flop

He got sent off to jail; you guessed it, no bail

Oh, but still not a dribble or drop

In jail he was beaten, bullied and buggered

And made to make license plates

Water and bread was all he was fed

But not once did a tear stain his face

Doctors were called in, scientists, too

Theologians were last and practically least

They all agreed sure enough; this was sure no cream puff

But in fact an insensitive beast

He was removed from jail and placed in a place

For the insensitive and the insane

He played lots of chess and made lots of friends

And he wept every time it would rain

Once it rained forty days and it rained forty nights

And he cried and he cried and he cried and he cried

On the forty-first day, he passed away

He just dehydrated and died

Well, he went up to heaven, located his dog

Not only that, but he rejoined his arm

Down below, all the critics, they loot it all back

Cancer robbed the whore of her charm

His ex-wife died of stretch marks, his ex-employer went broke

The theologians were finally found out

Right down to the ground, that old jail house burned down

The earth suffered perpetual drought